According to a recently released report, Russia has declared cyberwar on the United States. While the nation is currently using preliminary steps in the cyber warfare, it is expected that the destructive cyber campaign will escalate in the near future.
Negative impacts to the nation’s banking system are widely expected, alongside crippling attacks on other industries, according to the report.
The major banks in the United States, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citigroup, face ongoing, continuous cyber attacks from digital criminals. More often than not, many of these criminals originate from China, Iran, or Russia.
However, the attacks on banking institutions have been intensifying in recent days, especially after sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine were announced, as reported by Charles Gasparino in the New York Post.
None of the bank executives would comment due to fears of emboldening Russian government proxies alongside cybercriminals. Instead, the banks redirected inquiries to a cybersecurity consortium designed for the banking industry: the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
According to a spokesperson for the organization, “close communication” has been obtained with regards to its “member firms and relevant authorities around the world to monitor cyber activity against the financial sector.”
“At this time, the sector is not seeing any significant threats attributable to any geographic origin,” the group continued in a statement to the New York Post, “we continue to actively assess the situation through enhanced monitoring, [alongside] cross-border threat intelligence sharing across the financial services sector.”
Over the past several months, the Biden administration has worked alongside major banks in preparation for possible cyberattacks, with institutions expending multiple billions of dollars in order to protect their systems.
However, sources for the Post remark that the latest wave of cyberattacks represents a “subtle but intensified assault” on the cyber infrastructure of the nation’s largest banks.
One anonymous executive in the banking industry remarked that the general consensus is that Russia is responsible for the latest round of attacks, though no serious breaches have emerged to date.
Relative to other industries, the financial sector is far more likely to have better protection due to investing multiple billions in cybersecurity efforts, which means that several other industries absolutely “are … at risk of attack,” per Herb Lin.
Lin, who serves as a senior research scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, added that “other industries are definitely at risk of attack,” especially critical infrastructures.
One such critical infrastructure includes water, as noted by Lin.
“I think the water utility companies could be a weak spot as they’re not known for their cybersecurity,” he observed.